50 Most Dramatic Movie Weight Changes

Ellen Burstyn - Requiem For A Dream (1999)

The Movie Transformation: Her actual weight loss might not be extreme as other entries - but the physical overhaul Ellen Burstyn embraced to become washed-out drug-addled pensioner Sara Goldfarb is just as unnerving.

Fat suits, ghastly makeup and the infamous cabbage suit diet turned her into a shadow of her former self, with cheekbones no-one’d ever complement.

Ellen Burstyn Says: “I wore a 40lb fat-suit, then a 20lb one. When I got out of that, I had a two week break in my schedule, so I took off 10lbs of my own.”

Jennifer Hudson - Winnie (2011)

The Movie Transformation: American Idol winner Hudson’s dalliances with dieting have been at the fore of discussion surrounding the Oscar-winner. A spokesperson for Weight Watchers, the 32-year old already lost weight for her part in Dreamgirls . She still had more to lose to secure the role of Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie Mandela.

She benefitted from a personal trainer, who taught her about portion control as well as reaping the benefits of daily jogs. The result was a loss of 56 pounds - that’s four stone, folks.

Jennifer Hudson Says: “I lost so much weight from that when I got to Africa they were like oh my Gosh, you’re too thin.”

Jason Segel - Sex Tape (2014)

The Movie Transformation: The How I Met Your Mother star dropped several sizes last autumn in order to shape up for upcoming rom-com, Sex Tape , in which he stars alongside Cameron Diaz.

Through good old-fashioned healthy eating, foregoing midnight pizzas and booze, and getting plenty of exercise Segel shed at least three stone.

Jason Segel Says: “This time when I take my shirt off, I've made a promise to myself, it doesn't have to be funny.”

Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler (2008)

The Movie Transformation: The lime green tights were fabulous. The ratty bleach-blonde hair killed it. But for Mickey Rourke, it was the strenuous workouts which converted him into tip-top shape and ready to take on the role of Randy “The Ram” Robinson in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler .

Taking to his comeback performance with a fierce dedication, Rourke sought help from professional wrestler Afa the Wild Samoan who pushed the actor into daily two hour cardio-and-weight sessions followed by two hours of wrestling practice. Along with small meals throughout the day and the bodybuilder’s go-to; multiple protein shakes, 27 pounds of muscle soon piled on.

Mickey Rourke Says: “I hired this Israeli cage fighter who was from the army and he was real strict with me. He wouldn't take any bullshit and that's what I needed. I didn't want a trainer who I was gonna tell when I was gonna work out.”

Will Smith - Ali (2001)

The Movie Transformation: Doing justice to one of the greatest professional boxers to ever enter the ring was a motivating factor in Will Smith’s physical makeover for Ali .

Under the tutelage of Sugar Ray Leonard’s former fitness coach, Smith undertook an arduous training process. Hitting the gym for six-hour-a-day workouts and intense weight training sessions, the actor packed on a solid 35 pounds of lean, mean muscle taking his weight up to sixteen stone. In conjunction he ran an average of 20 miles a week on a 6-meals-a-day, high-carb, high-protein nutritional plan.

Will Smith Says: “Beyond looking like a fighter, my goal was to learn to think like a fighter. To do that I had to eat like a fighter, sleep like a fighter, assess situations in life like a fighter…”

Dennis Quaid - Wyatt Earp (1994)

The Movie Transformation: Now in his late fifties, Quaid, still prides himself on taking good care of his body. Back in the day, he let that slide when his dedication to work took over for his role as the tubercular Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp .

Limiting himself to only a 900 calorie diet and running five miles per day, he developed what he’s since termed “manorexia”, Quaid’s weight plummeted from 180 pounds to 138 - a loss of three stone. Once shooting was complete, the next day he gorged on Chinese takeout, Mexican food and an array of cream pies. The weight soon returned!

Dennis Quaid Says: “My arms were so skinny that I couldn't pull myself out of a pool. I wasn't bulimic, but I could understand what people go through with that. I'd look in the mirror and still see a 180-pound guy, even though I was 138 pounds.”

Jamie Foxx - Any Given Sunday (1999)

The Movie Transformation: In Oliver Stone’s American football drama, Any Given Sunday , Jamie Foxx bagged the showy role of Willie Beaman - a rippling athlete built like a tank.

Throwing himself into a demanding training schedule, Foxx hit the weights boosting his weight up to fourteen-and-a-half stone. To put in a convincing performance as an NFL star, he enlisted in football training school where he then dropped 25 pounds of water weight and fat - leaving a ripped, cut physique.

Jamie Foxx Says: “It made me look bigger on the screen because I was tighter.”

Taylor Lautner - The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

The Movie Transformation: Trying to remember a time when Twilight ’s Jacob Black doesn’t have his shirt off is a trifle difficult. For Taylor Lautner, rocking a ripped torso was a necessity - otherwise, he’d have been fired.

The changes Black goes through between the first Twilight book and its follow-up New Moon are vast - in the first he’s your typical teen, and in the second he’s matured into a muscly beefcake.

Hitting the gym five days a week, Lautner gobbled down meat patties, protein shakes and sweet potatoes kept nearby at all times to ensure he was eating protein on a regular timetable. The result after eight months of hard slog was two stone of extra muscle on his spindly frame. And of course, legions of swooning girlies.

Taylor Lautner Says: “I was doubling the amount of calorie intake I had before, which was just really tough, eating every two hours. It was the hardest part for sure.”

Emile Hirsch - Into The Wild (2007)

The Movie Transformation: To undergo a similar journey to the one endured by the real-life Christopher McCandless, Hirsch and director Sean Penn felt it only right that the actor should fully embark on a similar journey to the character.

McCandless’ experiences wandering through the wilderness of North America, including his final venture into the wilds of Alaska prior to his premature demise, caused the young adventurer to lose a drastic amount of weight. In true method style, Hirsch dropped forty pounds - around three stone - to push himself to the same level of emaciation.

By quitting the booze, sugar and running five miles a day, his punishing schedule created a withered shell of a man on the brink of death. Starting out at his normal weight of eleven stone, he shed an initial two stone before filming before pushing himself down to a mere eight stone for the final sequences.

Emile Hirsch Says: “It took more willpower to lose that weight than to do anything I've ever done in my entire life.”

Donnie Wahlberg - The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Movie Transformation: Donnie Wahlberg’s weight loss truly was dramatic - as he became unrecognisable as Bruce Willis’ former patient Vincent Grey in The Sixth Sense .

The actor’s commitment to the pivotal cameo was such that he took his weight down three stone to play the emaciated youngster who breaks into Willis’ home. By not eating and surviving on only a liquid diet Wahlberg lost forty pounds in five short weeks.

Donnie Wahlberg Says: “I got my body and my head into a place of not just losing weight, but losing everything that can spoil you in this business -- the pampering of success is very seductive. I actually developed an eating disorder. It took me a year to get myself back in shape!”

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.